4 Ongoing Facilities Management Challenges That Intensified During the Pandemic

We partnered with Facility Executive to survey facilities leaders about how the pandemic changed their needs and priorities, and their ongoing challenges and preferences regarding construction planning and project completion. More than 200 respondents representing several industries participated in the survey.

Survey Respondents

We shared the survey results and additional insights and examples from facilities experts in a recent webinar, Facilities Trends and Considerations: Where We Go From Here. Here’s what our survey respondents told us about their ongoing facilities management challenges.

1. Planning for the Present and the Long-Term

Planning for the Present and the Long-Term

Capital planning is one of the most important aspects of managing facilities. It’s also one of the most complex, so we asked respondents to indicate their biggest facilities and capital planning challenges. Balancing day-to-day needs with long term goals is a challenge facilities leaders have been facing for years, but the goal of a COVID-era capital plan should be to ensure short-term decisions don’t hamper an organization’s long-term mission. With priorities destabilized and resources limited, nimbleness and cost-effectiveness are paramount.

 

2. Project Scheduling

Sometimes the hardest part about finishing a construction project is getting it on the calendar. The COVID-19 pandemic only amplified construction scheduling challenges, putting nearly everyone a year or more behind, but when asked, respondents also indicated that scheduling is hindered by:

Project Scheduling Challenges

3. Various Project Slowdowns

Various Project Slowdowns

Delays don’t end once a construction project’s start date is set. According to our respondents, the construction procurement/project bidding process is often a hindrance to getting work done. The procurement timeline is particularly pronounced in the public sector, where a rigorous and transparent procurement process is necessary, especially for projects with a hefty price tag. Access to quality contractors was also frequently selected as an obstacle to completing more work, along with scheduling and developing detailed Scopes of Work. Other responses were bucketed into challenges noted earlier in the survey, such as loss of funding or rising material costs and shortages.

Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) solutions are proven to streamline the construction procurement process, allowing teams to get more work done, faster, even during peak construction season. Watch the short video below to see how.

 

4. Construction Project Delivery Selection

Construction Project Delivery Selection

Now more than ever organizations are being strategic when selecting the project delivery method they’ll use for their construction projects. There is no one-size-fits-all procurement solution, and no organization can afford to waste precious time, money or resource bandwidth; hence, leaders are apt to select construction project delivery methods on a case-by-case basis. The respondents to our survey most often choose Design-Bid-Build for their construction projects, with Design-Build and Job Order Contracting and other IDIQ solutions the second most popular procurement choices. With a tsunami of renovation work slated for the next couple years, it will be interesting to see if delivery methods more suited to simpler projects, namely Job Order Contracting/IDIQ, will grow in popularity.

Projects our respondents expect to complete in the near future.

Projects our respondents expect to complete in the near future

Summary: Classic Facilities Management Struggles Made Worse

None of the challenges and choices expressed by our survey respondents are new. Balancing long-term planning with present needs, project scheduling and delays, and choosing the most appropriate construction project delivery method are age-old headaches for facilities leadership. The pandemic did not change that. What it did do was ratchet up the pressure to make the right decisions and extract a measure of control from facilities leaders. To get back on track, facilities leaders are going to need help from experienced partners.

Gordian offers data, software and expertise for every phase of the building lifecycle. From facility planning solutions to help you assess the condition of your physical assets and make smart facilities investments, to powerful construction procurement solutions that support your current facilities staff and accurate construction cost data that provides up-to-date insights into material, labor and equipment pricing, Gordian can help you save time, control costs and work more efficiently.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leader in facility and construction cost data, software and services for all phases of the building lifecycle. A pioneer of Job Order Contracting, Gordian’s solutions also include proprietary RSMeans data construction costs and Facility Intelligence Solutions. From planning to design, to procurement, construction and operations, Gordian’s solutions help clients maximize efficiency, optimize cost savings and increase building quality.